Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Music At Work

Welcome to a holiday installment of "Casual Friday," my humorous look at something in Human Resources, Management, or Business.  Today I want to talk about holiday music at work. Please take a moment at the end of my post to comment on any of the music in your own workplaces.

Holiday Music At Work

At this time of year, it is a common thing to hear Christmas music playing over a distant speaker in the cafeteria. You might hear some carols at an office party.  You may even encounter at your desk, notes of Mariah Carrey's "All I Want For Christmas" wafting over your neighbor's cubicle wall.  I wanted to urge all of you to consider the effect this music may be having.  For some, it may be a joyous outpouring of one’s soul.  To others that celebrate differently, it may be annoying or offensive.  There are a few guidelines I suggest for individuals and then some I would suggest for the HR and managerial groups.

Individual Guidelines

Here are 4 tips to keep your boss and your co-workers happy:
1)  Keep the volume to a reasonable level.  Some others may be on the phones with clients.
2)  Skip the explicit stuff.  Some of the smarmy holiday parodies can be quite raunchy.
3)  Minimize the religiosity at work.  Some of your neighbors may be okay with a workers hymns, but some of those in other religions may not appreciate it.
4)  Don’t sing along!  We already know you know every word to Chris Brown’s “This Christmas”

HR and Managerial Guidelines

Here are 4 tips to allow your workers to celebrate while not upsetting Human Resources:
1)  Suggest Headphones.  If you want to allow workers to fully enjoy their music without accidentally offending anybody else, headphones can sometimes be an excellent option.
2)  Keep it Generic.  To avoid upsetting any one religion, consider only playing non-religious, generic songs like “Winter Wonderland”
3)  Save it for the Office Party.  Avoid hostility by banning all holiday music during working hours.  This eliminates the debate and the potential for offending anyone.
4)  Take Turns.  Another option, is to allow each person in the workplace a few set hours to select the music being played in the office.  Ensure that there are no explicit or obscene lyrics in the playlist.

None of these are perfect solutions, but hopefully they step you out in the right direction.

I will be posting fewer entries over the next few weeks as I celebrate Christmas.  I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday, whatever it is you are celebrating.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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